Menu for L’Auberge Edge of Seattle Inn Cooking Class – July 27, 2012:
Carrot Salad with fresh Lemon Dressing
Fresh farm stand carrots tossed in a lemon herb dressing.
Pork Chop Dijonaise
Pan seared pork chops with a light Dijon mustard cream sauce. Served with wild rice and fresh cauliflower Dubarry.
Champagne Poached Pears
Fresh poached pears served with a vanilla champagne syrup and whip cream.
However, Proprietress Nancy Gates-Douglas and Chef Marty Grasa make it work for the classically non-compliant among us. (Veggies instead of pork chops and no creams. Easy.) Or, rather, makes US work – 6 couples total, ‘uncoupled’ into pairs to create each course.
During preparation, Chef Marty showcases his prodigious culinary craft wrought from a restraurateur family, culinary school, and dues-paying gigs like Place Pigalle in Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Guests discover clever clues like how to calibrate a cooking thermometer (boiling water and the thermometer’s calibration sleeve), how to core cauliflower (carefully), and how to prevent cutting boards from slipping (a wet paper towel under the board.) The evening unfolds with hilarious, congenial commingling of wines and participants, resulting in a surprisingly toque-worthy spread by duly-lubricated neophytes under adult supervision while wielding sharp objects.
In addition to cooking skills, Proprietress Nancy Gates-Douglas hopes to instill guests with a greater understanding of one of UNESCO’s World Intangible Cultural Heritage List Items: ‘The gastronomic meal of the French“, defined as “a festive meal bringing people together for an occasion to enjoy the art of good eating and drinking.” To that end, guests follow a formal dress code – no jeans or shorts. Moreover, L’Auberge Edge of Seattle Inn advises guests to bring two (2) bottles of wine per couple to share with others. (Lack of a liquor license precludes L’Auberge from selling liquor with meals.) Dinner service ends sin the French-inspired Manor Room, replete with Limoges china, silver, stemware, and table linens.
Clearly, L’Auberge Edge of Seattle Inn proves the easy accessibility of French Classical Cooking to those willing to venture into its kitchen – even the lactose-intolerant and vegetarian among us. Saluté!